Obtain a Clearance Letter

Clearance Letters

A letter of clearance establishes that you have a clean criminal record in a given city or county. You may be asked for one when applying for a visa or green card, adopting a child or finding a job. A clearance letter may also be helpful if you have been the victim of mistaken identity or identity theft.

A letter of clearance from the SFPD will show that you have not been arrested or convicted of a crime in the City and County of San Francisco. The SFPD offers these letters free of charge. The most efficient way to get one is to come to our ID section at 850 Bryant St., Room 475, during business hours (Monday through Friday excluding holidays, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM). You must bring a valid ID document with a photograph, such as a passport or driver’s license. Expect to have your identity verified by fingerprints. If you have not been arrested or convicted of a crime in the City and County of San Francisco, your letter of clearance will be issued the same day. Otherwise, a clearance letter will not be issued.

Applying for a clearance letter by mail

You can also get a clearance letter by mail, although that can be more complicated. All such requests must be notarized. If you want us to release the information to a third party, you must include a statement to that effect in the notarized document.

Make sure also to state:

  • The person's legal name and any other names that have been used;
  • The person’s date of birth;
  • The number of a valid form of identification such as a driver's license;
  • The person’s Social Security number and any others that have been used.

Send your request with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the following address:

San Francisco Police Department
ID Unit
850 Bryant St., Room 475
San Francisco, CA 94103

For any further questions, call 1-415-553-1415

San Francisco Police Department

Safety with Respect for All.